The Coracle trust is a small charity based in Edinburgh, Scotland, that provides people with a context to learn and explore the meaning of Christian life in the everyday world navigating the various transitions of faith and life. Seeking to support churches, we work ecumenically with small groups and individuals to offer a meeting place for studies, discussions, spiritual direction, informal teaching, training and social events.
The purpose and heart of Coracle is to provide a context, to create an environment in which people might deepen their understanding and experience of how God is present and at work in their lives and in the world, and how he might be calling them to live out their faithful response in the ordinary business of everyday life. Whether this is with individuals through spiritual direction, in the various groups that we run, or with folk who are just asking questions about what faith in God may be about, the principle is the same: to offer a spiritually and physically hospitable place to explore, reflect, question, wonder and discuss in a way that enables the growth of meaningful relationship and community.
An extract from an ASJ Tessimond's poem may best locate and describe our motivation:
As an outworking of this core vision the Trust is committed to the following aspects of ministry:
Community building: providing space to belong, to build relationships that can support, stretch, challenge and encourage.
- Resourcing: offering various activities in support of the work of local churches and for those with no formal church connection.
- Hospitality: opening our homes and our lives, sharing resources, home-cooked food and the spiritual hospitality of listening.
- Fostering action in the wider community: making our response to God concrete in the actions and choices we make about lifestyle, social, environmental and political issues.
- Spiritual companionship: recognising the value of and formation in travelling with others on the journey of faith.
As the work of the Trust has unfolded we have found ourselves on a threefold journey:
- The Journey Inwards of prayer, reflection and contemplation as we seek to deepen our relationship with God, and our understanding of ourselves.
- The Journey Outwards seeking to live out our faith in practical action and service at work, in the home, in churches, in the communities in which we live, and in the wider world.
- The Journey Together with others supporting each other as we make these first two journeys and sharing our individual journey in the wider story of the faith community.
These three journeys in various ways form much of the shape and content of Coracle activities and for some of the people involved this has been the basis of a Rule of Life or Pattern for Living.